Wall Street analysts forecast that Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) will announce earnings of $1.21 per share for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Eight analysts have made estimates for Darden Restaurants’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $1.14 and the highest estimate coming in at $1.25. Darden Restaurants reported earnings of $0.99 per share in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 22.2%. The business is expected to issue its next earnings results on Tuesday, September 25th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Darden Restaurants will report full-year earnings of $5.50 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.40 to $5.60. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the firm will post earnings of $6.04 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.75 to $6.30. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow Darden Restaurants.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, June 21st. The restaurant operator reported $1.39 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.35 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $2.13 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.13 billion. Darden Restaurants had a net margin of 7.38% and a return on equity of 29.02%. The company’s revenue was up 10.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.99 earnings per share.

A number of research firms have weighed in on DRI. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $120.00 target price on shares of Darden Restaurants in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. Mizuho boosted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants to $115.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. Jefferies Financial Group boosted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants from $90.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on shares of Darden Restaurants to $117.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. Finally, Bank of America raised shares of Darden Restaurants from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $88.00 to $108.00 in a research note on Friday, June 22nd. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $110.77.

Shares of Darden Restaurants traded up $0.05, reaching $109.47, during midday trading on Friday, according to Marketbeat. 892,686 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,204,149. The stock has a market cap of $13.52 billion, a PE ratio of 22.76, a PEG ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.18. Darden Restaurants has a one year low of $76.27 and a one year high of $112.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.42, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.40.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, July 10th were issued a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.74%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, July 9th. This is a positive change from Darden Restaurants’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.63. Darden Restaurants’s payout ratio is 52.39%.

In other news, SVP Douglas J. Milanes sold 2,186 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Monday, July 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.06, for a total transaction of $242,777.16. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 792 shares in the company, valued at $87,959.52. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP John W. Madonna sold 700 shares of Darden Restaurants stock in a transaction on Monday, June 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $109.21, for a total transaction of $76,447.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 706 shares in the company, valued at approximately $77,102.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 182,236 shares of company stock worth $19,609,826. 0.63% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants in the first quarter valued at $247,000. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new position in Darden Restaurants in the first quarter valued at $301,000. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 7.2% in the first quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 12,563 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,071,000 after buying an additional 840 shares during the period. Hudson Valley Investment Advisors Inc. ADV lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 404.5% in the second quarter. Hudson Valley Investment Advisors Inc. ADV now owns 18,060 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $1,809,000 after buying an additional 14,480 shares during the period. Finally, Calamos Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Darden Restaurants by 13.6% in the second quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 46,519 shares of the restaurant operator’s stock valued at $4,980,000 after buying an additional 5,574 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 89.40% of the company’s stock.

Darden Restaurants Company Profile

Darden Restaurants, Inc, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 27, 2018, it owned and operated approximately 1,746 restaurants under the Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, and Eddie V's brands.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)

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